First day on the slopes for the 2007-08 season. I’d brought my boots and poles with me to sprite’s folks’ place for Thanksgiving, hoping that one of the southern Vermont resorts would have semi-decent skiing. Mount Snow, having been bought recently by Peak Resorts, has new snowmaking infrastructure (over $2 million in new pumps and guns), and the result is impressive. While Vermont hasn’t seen a lot of natural snow, and Thanksgiving brought rain and fog, the slopes were covered in a consistently thick, soft coating of man-made snow (see the pictures for proof – they did a bang-up job!).
The one thing that was lacking was a plethora of trails – easily understandable, as it takes a lot of snowmaking to cover a single trail. The resort had about 7 trails running, allowing skiers of abilities to find something that worked for them. And from my first run at 8:15 am until around 11:15 am, it was easy to find open space to let the skis run or pick your own line down the trail. But once the crowds turned out, the lack of available terrain became a liability: too many skiers for too little skiable slope space. So I packed it in by 1:30 pm.
I demoed a pair of Dynastar Contact 11ST skis for the day, courtesy of Alpine Traders, a ski shop on Route 100 in Dover, VT. They were skis from last year’s demo fleet, which were on sale for $300. The shop’s owner rented them to me for $20 (their usual rental rate for a basic set of skis), seeing that I wanted some performance skis. And they were great skis: stable on the ice (and there was some, thanks to the Thanksgiving rain), quick, yet solid at speed. They were a few steps above the Dynastar Contact 9 skis that I used in Austria, as well as 13 cm. longer – and that made a world of difference in terms of my enjoyment.
My big toes aren’t happy with me from the day’s skiing, so I think I’m going to get some new liners and footbeds for my boots in the next few weeks – a Christmas present to myself. My feet will be grateful.